Candidates wanting to lead the day-to-day operations of the nationwide public-safety LTE effort should express their interest in the critical position by Dec. 1, according to a member of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) board.

Tim Bryan, a member of the search committee for a general manager, described the general manager job as a "chief executive officer, so to speak" for FirstNet, which is charged with overseeing the deployment of a nationwide broadband network and the system's ongoing operation.

"We're searching for a pretty seasoned executive with a background in telecommunications, government or public safety — all of the above would be great — to be somebody who can really help drive two or three of the main processes forward that we're focused on at FirstNet," Bryan said. Those processes include "getting a network together, establishing the kind of public-private partnerships the act talks about and serving our public-safety community.

"It's probably got to be one of the most fascinating jobs available in the telecommunications. It's really a one-of-a-kind position."

Like a CEO, the general manager will be responsible for executing the vision of the FirstNet board, with the help of existing government resources available to FirstNet and future staff members associated only with the project, Bryan said. In addition, third-party contractors likely will play a role in FirstNet's project execution, he said.

"I definitely would not rule out the idea that a program manager or contractors could help with parts of that," Bryan said. "But I think it's important for us to get an internal grip on what it is we're trying to do first, and then contemplate how we can use the great resources that are in this area for the different projects we have at hand."

A prospectus for the job created last month states that the general manager will be asked to:

  • Develop the Board-approved FirstNet vision and strategy, and lead FirstNet into operation;
  • Create and implement a start-up plan, and then develop and execute against both a long-term strategic plan and a short-term budget plan;
  • Build a strong senior management team, and encourage an efficient and positive culture;
  • Remain committed to understanding and serving the public-safety community;
  • Ensure that the FirstNet network provides highly reliable nationwide service; and,
  • Become a strong force for collaboration among FirstNet stakeholders — public safety, state and local governments, federal agencies, and private partners.

Candidates for the position should send a letter of interest and a resume to FirstNetGM@ntia.doc.gov by Dec. 1. The search committee will review the applications, but the entire FirstNet board will make the final decision, Bryan said.